The New England Free Jacks added Stephan Coetzee for the remainder of the 2021 Major League Rugby season. The 29-year-old South African hooker is 6’1″ and 250 lbs.
Seattle Seawolves announced in December that Stephan re-signed with the team, however, he did not arrive with the pandemic conditions still in place.
Stephan played 137 minutes and scored one try during the truncated 2020 MLR season, starting weeks 3 and 4, and as a reserve in week 5. He then played in the World Tens Series in Bermuda for the London Royals.
Stephan played 1085 minutes in 18 matches, scoring 8 tries, carrying 65 times for 323 meters, and making 204 tackles. He is an important cog in the front row that makes the Seawolves a leading scrummaging team and one that has led to two championships.
Stephen was born in Worcester, Western Cape, South Africa, and went to Paarl Boys’ High school. He played age-grade rugby with the Western Province Under-16s during Grant Khomo Week in 2008, for the Under-18s for Academy Week in 2009, and in 2010 for Craven Week.
He then attended the Western Province Rugby Institute in 2011 and played for the Under-19s in the Provincial Championship and for the Under-20s in the 2012 and 2013 Provincial Championship. In 2013 the team won the championship and he also appeared in the Vodacom Cup.
In 2014 Stephan made his Senior debut for Western Province against the Boland Cavaliers. He played in 8 matches, starting 6, and also made an appearance in the 2014 Vodacom Cup.
In 2014 he moved to New Zealand and made 7 appearances for the Super Rugby Stormers. In 2015 he moved to Kimberly, South Africa, and made one appearance with the Griquas, before signing a contract with the Cheetahs, making 11 appearances.
Then it was on to the Sharks XV from 2016-2017. There he made 23 appearances and scored 5 tries. He also played with the Super Rugby Cell C Sharks in 2017 making 3 appearances.
During the 2017-2018 season, he played PRO 14 Rugby with the Southern Kings, making 18 appearances. He played with the Seattle Seawolves for the 2019 and 2020 Major League Rugby seasons, winning the 2019 MLR Shield.
New England Free Jacks Comments
“It’s a privilege for me to join the New England Free Jacks. Boston is a great sporting city with an amazing culture growing at the Free Jacks. I will do my best to add value to teammates on and off the field.” noted Coetzee.
“Stephan ‘the raging bull’ Coetzee will bring some real menace to an already hard-working New England forward pack,” commented Head Coach, Ryan Martin. “A scary ball carrier who will enjoy big shoulder contacts on defense which will be sure to get the locals at Union Point on their feet. Stephan is a proven performer having played Super Rugby for the Sharks, Cheetahs, and Kings.”